CALS students in a lab

Graduate Programs

Excellence in Scholarship and Research

In keeping with our land-grant mission of teaching, research and extension, our graduate programs focus on five strategic areas:

  1. Enhancing the production, accessibility and profitability of food, plant, animal and bioenergy products;
  2. Creating a food supply that is safe, healthy and affordable;
  3. Ensuring environmental stewardship and sustainability;
  4. Improving human health and well-being; and
  5. Preparing students for success in the global workforce.

Whether you want to pursue a position in academia, government, business, industry, or the non-profit sector, we provide the graduate programs you need to advance your career,

Outdoor head-and-shoulders image of Laura Villegas

Committed to Managing Natural Resources

Travel that took her to national parks and forests in the western United States spurred Laura Villegas Ortiz to learn more about environmental policy. As a graduate student at CALS, she’s gaining an interdisciplinary education as she works to better understand the impact that environmental legislation can have on communities.

Learn more about Laura's CALS journey

CALS Graduate Programs and Degrees

How do I choose the right program?

There are several factors to consider when deciding to attend graduate school: whether your desired career path requires an advanced degree; whether a graduate degree can help you advance your career or earn more; and which degree is suitable to your goals.

CALS offers the following graduate degree options for prospective students: 

Professional Master: A Professional Master is a non-thesis degree that may require a project to graduate. If you do not plan on pursuing a doctorate, this degree program may be for you.

Master of Science (M.S.): The M.S. is a research-based degree that requires completion of a thesis. If you are considering pursuing a doctorate, then this may be the program for you.

Ph.D. and Ed.D.: The Ph.D. is a research degree for students planning careers in higher education. The Ed.D. is designed for students who desire a career in education administration. These degree programs can be intense; students who are successful have clearly defined goals and are passionate about their research focus.

CALS Graduate Programs

Our students pursue graduate and professional degrees in many areas, including:

Online and Distance Education

Student on a laptop in student union.Solve global grand challenges in agriculture and life sciences from wherever you are. CALS offers a variety of online and distance education graduate courses and certificates to suit your schedule and educational needs.

Not sure where to start? Take classes part-time or as a visiting student through the NC State Non-Degree Studies (NDS) program.

YFCS graduate student Jamie Alexander.

Applying Research to Practice: Helping Communities and Families

The term “learning” took on a whole new meaning for NC State College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) alumna Jamie Alexander once she started pursuing her master’s degree online at NC State.

Read Jamie's story

Research Facilities

The important work we do extends beyond every lab and classroom wall.

CALS research facilities include both on- and off-campus sites specifically equipped to support our research programs. As a graduate student here, you will work closely with researchers pioneering breakthroughs in their fields.

Career Services

CALS graduates blaze paths with careers in academia, government, business, and industry. They are in high demand, equipped and ready to turn complex problems into viable solutions for our state, nation and world.

We can help you put your degree to work. Make an appointment to talk with a CALS career advisor about graduate school and career options.

Explore CALS Career Services

Financial Support

NC State offers graduate students a broad range of financial assistance options that help with tuition and living expenses while they are pursuing their advanced degrees. Graduate students may receive financial support through fellowships/traineeships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, service assistantships, federal work-study programs, and loans. Many assistantships, fellowships,  and traineeships are granted by the departments. Contact the departmental director of graduate programs for more information.

Also, visit the NC State Graduate School website for more information on financial aid options for graduate students.